Founders’ Awards Recipients

The Mission and Founders’ Awards are presented to Bastyr University alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional and personal achievement and loyal service to the University and the field of natural health science.


Mission Award

Tabatha Parker, ND

Dr. Tabatha Parker is a naturopathic doctor, currently working as the Executive Director of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM), the leading provider of interprofessional education to health professionals in Integrative Health & Medicine. In 2015, Parker was named Physician of the Year by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), received an honorary naturopathic degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) and received the highest honor in naturopathy, “Magister Natura” from Spain for her work advancing the naturopathic profession globally. In 2011, Parker was named a Visionary of the Year by UTNE Reader.

Parker co-chaired and was inaugural faculty at National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) Global Health Master’s program, the first global health masters offered at a naturopathic medical school, and has been faculty at Bastyr University.

As an activist for the integrative health & medicine global health community she believes holistic healthcare is a human right and works for parity for healthcare providers and full access for all patients to traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine.


Les Griffith, ND Student Award

Emer McKenna, ND (‘20)

Emer McKenna is a first generation Irish immigrant who was born in Florida and raised in Dublin and Eastern Connecticut. Emer is currently in their final year of study in the school of naturopathic medicine and is passionate about expanding high quality, accessible, holistic health care to all, particularly marginalized communities such as trans people, immigrants, sex workers, and lower income folks. Throughout their education Emer has been one of many tireless voices promoting cultural humility in the medical curriculum at Bastyr and around the country. Throughout their life they aspire to continue to work with such brilliant and dedicated organizers as they have met in the Bastyr community.



Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr., ND
Alumnus/a Award

Erin Rhae Biller, ND (‘16)

Erin Rhae Biller, ND is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor. She received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University California as part of its inaugural class of 2016. She is the first naturopathic doctor enrolled in the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) fellowship program. She practices in California and Arizona, and globally through telehealth video consulting.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California, she lived in Udaipur, India where she solidified her passion for health while working in economic development and women’s health through the Foundation for Sustainable Development. Upon returning home she completed Post-Baccalaureate studies in California and Utah before starting naturopathic medical school at Bastyr University Kenmore.


William A. Mitchell, Jr., ND
Service Merit Award

Lynelle Golden, PhD

Dr. Golden is a broadly trained physiologist who received her PhD in 1992 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She continued her training through a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Golden served as an associate professor of biology at Kennesaw State University (KSU) until 2004. Dr. Golden became associate professor of basic sciences at Bastyr in 2007, and she was promoted to professor of basic sciences in 2010. She was appointed as chair of basic sciences in 2008 and she became dean of the School of Natural Health Arts and Sciences in 2012. In 2015 she added the role of dean of the School of Traditional World Medicines to her administrative responsibilities.

Dr. Golden’s teaching and service have provided an excellent foundation for her administrative roles. Dr. Golden been involved in the development and implementation of the BS in undergraduate human biology, an MPH program, and an online Master of Arts in Maternal Child Systems. Dr. Golden was also a member of the administrative team responsible for opening the Bastyr Campus in San Diego CA in 2012.


Sheila Quinn
Service to Society Award

Nooshin Darvish, ND, FICT, ABAAHP (‘92, ‘95)

Dr. Nooshin Khoshkhessal-Darvish always has been passionate about ‘transforming lives from within’ through service and the virtue of ‘excellence’ since she was little. Searching for ways to help advance the global community, and guided by the Baha’i Faith, at age 16, she set out to become a naturopathic physician. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Speech Science from University of British Columbia in 1991 and a Bachelor’s in Natural Health Science from Bastyr in 1992. She received her ND degree from Bastyr University in 1995 and completed a 2-year residency at Bastyr University Natural Health Clinic in 1997.

Dr. Darvish became the first naturopathic physician in Washington State to open a naturopathic clinic on one of the largest hospital campuses in the state, Overlake Hospital. Along with her husband, John, Dr. Darvish co-founded Holistique Naturopathic Medical Center in 2002, and currently, is its Chief Medical Officer. She began serving at Bastyr in 1993 as an adjunct faculty and has continued to volunteer as an affiliate faculty training both student interns and resident physicians and medical doctors for the past 20 years.